Following HHS’ decision to label the novel coronavirus a public health emergency, lawmakers called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distribute rapid diagnostic tests to states, starting with those with confirmed cases.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and 48 bipartisan lawmakers said that distribution of test kits should begin as soon as possible, starting with states that have seen confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The first confirmed U.S. case of was in Washington state. The patient survived after a 12-day illness.
“We know that CDC is working to quickly distribute a rapid diagnostic test to state and local officials and urge CDC to do so as soon as possible, without compromising scientific validity,” the lawmakers said. “We further urge you to prioritize localities where cases have already been confirmed, so that additional cases may be detected in real-time.”